Crime in Hawaii 2003 (Annual)

Crime in Hawaii down 8.9% in 2003, lowest murder rate since 1956, serious juvenile crime at sixth consecutive record low level

July 22, 2004 – The Department of the Attorney General released its annual Uniform Crime Report, Crime in Hawaii, which shows that the State’s Index Crime rate fell 8.9% in 2003. The decrease was primarily attributable to a sizable decrease in the City & County of Honolulu. The 2003 decrease reverses the trend of increasing crime rates since Hawaii’s record low rate was reached in 1999.

A total of 69,267 Index Crimes were reported statewide in 2003, yielding a rate of 5,508 offenses per 100,000 resident population. The 2003 rate is 17.9% below the rate reported a decade earlier (1994). Hawaii’s property crime rate fell 9.4% in 2003, while the violent crime rate increased 3.2%.

A special analysis of data from prior to the initiation of statewide Uniform Crime Reporting in 1975 reveals that a total of 22 murders reported during 2003 is Hawaii’s lowest tally since 1968 and yields the smallest per capita murder rate since 1956.

Juvenile Index Crime arrests reached their sixth consecutive annual record low level in Hawaii in 2003, with 2,113 arrests reported statewide. This figure ranged from 4,000 to 7,000 annually during the 1975-1997 period and thereafter plummeted in each subsequent year. The 2003 tally marks a 54.7% decrease in serious juvenile crime over the course of the past decade.

Other highlights of Crime in Hawaii 2003 include the following:

Among the individual violent crime categories for 2003, Hawaii’s murder, forcible rape, and robbery rates decreased 9.3%, 2.3%, and 4.4%, respectively, while the aggravated assault rate rose 10.2%. There were 3,400 violent Index Crimes reported in Hawaii in 2003, representing a rate of 270.4 offenses per 100,000 residents.

Rate decreases were reported for each property crime category in 2003: burglary (11.2%), larceny-theft (10.1%), and motor vehicle theft (3.6%). Despite the decrease, Hawaii’s motor vehicle theft rate in 2003 was only slightly below 2002’s record high level. A total of 65,867 property Index Crimes were reported statewide in 2003, for a rate of 5,237.5 offenses per 100,000 residents.

The number of statewide Index Crime arrests decreased 9.6% in 2003, with adult arrests down 7.3% and juvenile arrests down 15.4%. Arrests for violent and property Index Crimes fell 4.5% and 10.5%, respectively. Crime in Hawaii also provides state and county data on the age, gender, and race/ethnicity of arrestees.

Based on the proportion of arrests (plus cases closed by “exceptional means”) to reported offenses, Hawaii’s Index Crime clearance rate rose from a record low of 10.5% in 2002 to 11.5% in 2003.
The City & County of Honolulu’s Index Crime rate decreased 12.0% in 2003, with the violent crime rate dipping 0.8% and the property crime rate down 12.5%.

Hawaii County’s Index Crime rate increased 1.8% in 2003, with the violent crime rate rising 32.1% and the property crime rate edging up 0.8%. Hawaii County’s total, violent, and property crime rates in 2003 were the lowest in the State.
Maui County’s Index Crime rate increased 1.5% in 2003, with the violent crime rate climbing 18.1% and the property crime rate up 0.9%. Maui County’s total and property crime rates in 2003 were the highest in the State.

Kauai County’s Index Crime rate decreased 1.1% in 2003, with the violent crime rate up 4.0% and the property crime rate down 1.4%. Kauai County’s violent crime rate in 2003 was the highest in the State.

Of the 3,033 murders, robberies, and aggravated assaults reported statewide during 2003, 53.1% were committed using strongarm weapons (i.e., hands, fists, and feet); 22.0% with “other” or unknown weapons, 13.5% with edged weapons, and 11.4% with firearms.

A total value of $59.7 million in property was reported stolen in Hawaii during 2003, down 13.5% from 2002. Of the total value stolen in 2003, 17.5% was recovered, down from 19.8% recovered in 2002.